Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Review of the Year: Thank you.

The past eight months have been an absolute whirlwind. Our campaign started due to the appalling coverage of the murder of two children by their father Julian Stevenson. Both the French police and the British media trotted out every single myth about domestic abuse, child custody cases and male violence. Our campaign started out of our rage and our distress at the minimising of Stevenson’s responsibility for the brutal murder of his children.

Our campaign has achieved a lot in a few short months, which culminated in bringing the Neil Wilson case to public attention. Wilson’s 13-year -old victim was labelled a “sexual predator” by prosecutor Robert Colover. Within 3 days our petition had received over 60 000 signatures and the case was investigated by the Attorney General for under the unduly lenient guidelines. Colover was prohibited from prosecuting cases of sexual violence.

We have been privileged to attend numerous conferences and meetings this year. Members of our team were at the UK Feminista Summer School, the Woman’s Aid Conference on Cyber-Stalking and Harassment conference, the Woman’s Aid National Conference, West Mercia Women’s Aid Conference on Child Sexual Exploitation, the launch of the Girl Guides Attitudes Survey and the Equation Seminar in Nottingham on the effects of domestic violence on children.

We were honoured to be invited to the launch of the Lincolnshire Rape Crisis where a member of our team gave the keynote speech; the speech has been cross-posted on A Room of Our Own: A Feminist Network. We have done workshops and training at the North East Feminist Gathering, 2013, the Nottingham Women’s Conference, the North East Conference on Sexual Violence hosted by CRIVA at Durham University, and the Interdisciplinary Conference on Domestic Violence hosted by DeMontford University.

We have written guest posts about our campaign for Women’s Views on the News and the FWSA (UK & Northern Ireland). The New Statesman published our article on how the stranger danger message fails to protect our children. Our campaign has been written about by numerous news media including Women’s Views on the NewsFWSA (UK & Northern Ireland), the Huffington Post, the New Statesman and many, many blogs. We were interviewed by Sky News about the Neil Wilson case, participated in 3 BBC Radio debates to discuss the issues regarding Mike Tyson being refused entry to the UK.

We are very pleased that our campaign has received national attention but, more importantly, we are honoured by the amount of support we have received from members of the general public who have written for our website, shared their personal stories of victim blaming and shared our campaign on twitter, facebook and in ‘real life’. Participant feedback from our workshops has been consistently positive, as has feedback on twitter and facebook. We have received lots of positive messages via email but this post called “Thank You” made all the members of our team cry.

The only reason our campaign has been successful is because of your support. We are grateful and humbled by the support for our campaign and the support shown to victims of domestic and sexual violence. We can not express our gratitude properly except to state that 2014 will be the year we hold the media accountable for victim-blaming!

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